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|China accused of defying its own ban on breeding tigers to profit from body parts
Nick Davies and Oliver Holmes
Tuesday 27 September 2016
faces pressure at global summit to close 200 farms where tigers are
bred for luxury goods and end its obstructive tactics
been accused of deceiving the international community by allowing a
network of farms to breed thousands of captive tigers for the sale of
their body parts, in breach of their own longstanding ban on the trade.
Chinese government has allowed about 200 specialist farms to hold an
estimated 6,000 tigers for slaughter, before their skins are sold as
decoration and their bones are marinated to produce tonics and lotions.
Campaigners say this has increased demand for the products and provoked
the poaching of thousands of wild tigers, whose global population is
now down to just 3,500.
China is expected to come under pressure
at this week’s Johannesburg conference of nations who have signed the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites). The
Guardian has found that Chinese delegates have tried to obstruct debate
at the conference by rewriting a critical report and questioning the
wording of a key decision.
The Chinese say their domestic market
is nobody else’s business since Cites covers only international trade.
They also point out that by breeding 6,000 tigers in captivity they
have significantly increased the population of the species, and
question why western countries should be allowed to breed cattle and
pigs for their own markets if they are to be criticised for doing so